Very Much Muchness

I’ve got a problem.

You probably have the same problem.

We all enjoy this… together.

Wait, what? Sorry. Did my phone just buzz?

It’s not so much a problem as it is an abundance. The very muchness of it all.

I need to message them.

I can remember spending hours at a game table laughing and talking. Monopoly marathons lasting weeks. Just sitting on the neighbor’s porch, wheelin’, dealin’ and talking.

I haven’t updated my Facebook status.

In college, going to the commons area just to hang out, chat, laugh and unwind.

But some of that changed.

I don’t want to blame it on anyone. Or anything.

I need to check out the new apps in the app store.

I’m behind on my Words With Friends. 

Blame it on the muchness right? The never-ending barrage of technology, social media, and TV shows that seems to spew nicotine, crack, or some other addictive drug right through the screen.

 I bet there’s an info-graphic for this on Pinterest. Maybe I should search it…

But I can’t blame it on anyone. Or anything. I’ve got to learn something again. Like learning to walk after an accident.

Confession…

(just a sec, just got a text and, of course, I’ve got to check it right now)

OK, I’m back. Where was I? Oh yeah… confession.

Confession: I’m wondering where my patience with conversation went. It’s not gone. But it’s waning. It grows dim.

My inability to say no to the immediacy of technology. To get caught up in the constant interruptions. I don’t allow myself to focus for more than 3-5 minutes on anything anymore.

This squirrel-like focus must be changed.

Have you felt this way too?

It’s not that I need to slow down. I need to focus more.

I need to train my patience.

Creativity doesn’t happen alone. Even for this often-introvert, I need people and I need a conversation that isn’t on a blog. That isn’t in a text. That isn’t on the phone. That isn’t interrupted with a bling, a beep, or some other notification.

I wonder if I just got a like for the Titanic II post I just sent to Twitter and Facebook.

 Focus. It’s a precious thing. With all the interruptions, my desire is to converse, to slow down and to connect for real.

What works for you? How do you focus with all the muchness?

 

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Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • I actually went through my iPhone and turned off all push notifications. I can’t begin to tell you what a drastic difference that has made. I no longer get interrupted by every single comment and like and retweet and email. Also, I’ve made a rule for myself. When I’m spending time with people, I’m there. I don’t respond to texts or check FB or Twitter. Sometimes I go as far as turning off my phone. The only way I’ll respond is if I know there’s something important going on (family member in hospital) or if we’re waiting for someone to show up and they are the ones texting. It’s made a huge difference in my focus and my relationships.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Push notification are off, but having you saying something as simple as ‘turn off your phone’ is the cutting-edge wisdom I needed to hear!

      Word.

  • It’s as though we need to make up new rules and then learn to follow them to simply make it through a day. Things like will power are taken to a much higher level in this day and age. It’s fascinating to watch and experience.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Yep, we need new rules.

      It’s seriously like a drug… all this constant connection.

  • Like Jason Vana, I have no push notifications on my phone. And as my phone is often in my purse when I’m out, I don’t always even hear it when I do get a text or a call (though that’s not always a good thing, so I’m working to find a balance).

    • Andrew Zahn

      Probably a good think 😉

  • Jim

    INTENTIONALLY meeting with others for coffee is the only way you can dodge the “muchness” in my experience.

    Online relationships are only kind-of real. It’s not a REAL relationship until you talk to each other in real life IMO.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Wish you lived closer Jim! It would definitely be coffee time!

  • Kathy and I still use flip-phones. $100/year, 25¢/min., rollover each year for unused minutes….which we ALWAYS have at the end of the 12 months.

    Here’s an example of a typical call:

    Kathy: We need milk. Can you stop on the way home?
    Me: Okay. See you in a little bit.

    (I actually hung up on my mother-in-law once:
    MIL: Hello, Scott. I know you said this phone is for emergencies only, but I wanted to tell you about a show that is on ton….
    ME: Thanks. I’ll call you back at home.
    CLICK.)

    We don’t have texting. Or internet. Or IM capability. Or Siri. Or Facebook (I can wait until I get home to everyone’s status updates).

    We’re trying to live debt-free, and $100/year beats $70/ month by any standards.

    Oh, yeah….we also walk to work in barefoot in the snow….uphill….both ways.

    • Andrew Zahn

      The script is fan-dang-tastic Scott!

      $100/year is amazing.

      Wisdom in more way than one my friend.

  • Nice post. However I’m here because of the e-mail I got…

    • Andrew Zahn

      Yeahman… you sent me one too… you’ve got me all hooked on your blog. Shucks…

  • Yvette Carol

    Yeah I know what you mean Andrew! It can be overwhelming sometimes. I’m taking a writing course and we have to use all the senses to note every single moment of our day (eventually). So far I’ve found it an enormous struggle to even get in to the present moment! I guess I’ve managed to note about an hour out of my typical day, and I’ve been at it for a month now!! It’s hard to focus on the now.
    Yvette Carol

    • Andrew Zahn

      You’re not alone Yvette. It’s a tightrope walk isn’t it?!

  • I have stopped clicking the box, like you have, that says notify me of follow-up comments by email. I try to limit how often I check Disqus to see if anyone responded to my comments. It gets wearisome.

  • I think it really hit home when I would watch people continually answer their phones, check twitter, Facebook, texts….all in a 5 minute conversation with me….was that really what I was like?!?!?! I realized how much it pissed me off to have that lack of respect and decency and attempt…out of memory of that feeling, not to do that to others in conversation.

    In private? Man, I waste hours on Facebook and its sad. First place to start is admitting you have a problem right? Let me know when you figure out the answer 🙂

    • Andrew Zahn

      Hey David, thanks for stopping by.

      I did one of those “go without Facebook for a month things” and it was rough for the first week or so but then it wasn’t so terrible.

      Maybe when a balance needs to be struck something drastic like this needs to happen?